I love the holiday season but not the pressure that comes along with it! Here are 5 Tips to avoid the holiday stress!

There is always so much going on from rushing to get gifts for others to trying to keep activities straight (especially my kids activities). Then, you are trying to make sure the packages you order don’t get stolen. This year, I’m going to change it up and try to avoid the stress-fest.

Listen to the podcast episode:

This post was originally published in December 2018 and updated in December 2020during the pandemic. A lot of it still applies!


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One reason that pushed me to rethink how I go through the holidays was graduate school. I’m getting my doctorate and it requires a significant time commitment. I have a lot less time as a result. It’s forced me to really consider how I use my time and prioritize.

“High expectations are another source of stress”

Source: PsychCentral

I wanted to raise my awareness as to what I absolutely needed to do and why. It’s hard to not get swept up in what everyone expects you to do this time of year. So, I rounded up my tips (you know that I like tips) to avoid stress during the holidays along with some fun holiday outfits.

I partnered up with Dress Barn for a couple of these outfits. The items are no longer available. I linked similar items.

1. Previous plan – Buy gifts for all. New plan – Gifts for some, goodies for all.

I used to be running around town buying small gifts for everyone on my list. For instance, I would buy those little lotions that were “3 for $15” then stress about only needing 7 instead of 9 (do the math, I then needed to buy more).


There were two stressful parts to this process. First, it was the figuring out what to get. Then, it was the trying to get it. That meant waiting in lines, going to multiple stores, or making sure the packages don’t get stolen. This year, I’m going to buy gifts for just a handful of folks. The rest will be goodies that I will make (with love) with my sister.


This year, I’m going to change it up and try to avoid the stress-fest.

2. Previous Plan – Buy all of my gifts. New plan – Make treats and make it an event.

As I mentioned in tip 1, I’m baking something special with my sister. To make this process even more enjoyable, we are making a day of it. Don’t worry, she knows what she is doing so I should be good! I will have fun getting little bags to put the treats in. I may use my Bitmoji for my tags. Let’s see if I can get that together in time. If not, sticker labels will do to keep it stress free!


I’m baking something special with my sister and making a day of it.

3. Previous plan – Leaving things to the last minute. New plan – Prioritize, Organize & Plan

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I can procrastinate quite a bit. It’s cute for a caption but not so much in real life. It was self-created stress! Instead, my plan is to have a plan and list of what I need to do and by when.


4. Previous plan – Comparing my holidays to everyone else’s. New plan – Realize that no one has it all figured out.

I used to see other mom’s have their holiday cards out way early. I would get one in the mail like week one of December and I was like “Doh!! What am I doing?”. I used be one of those moms years ago it was such a project to get the card photo and ordered on time. That was another stressful activity! For what?

I decided a few years ago to stop focusing on that – it also helps that people are more on social media and posting their cards on Facebook anyway. If I do decide to do a card I just put together pictures that I already have of my kids.


I realized that no one has the perfect set up. Also, the holidays can bring up a lot of emotions related to family for a lot of folks.

Avoid the Comparison Trap

Another thing I stopped doing was comparing my holiday activities (or lack there of) to others. I don’t have a large extended family since my parents are immigrants from Dominican Republic. When I was a kid, I felt like my siblings an I were missing out on being with family like other kids. I got over that. You know that I went to counseling before, right? I talk about that in another podcast episode and post here

As I got older and had my own family I realized that no one has the perfect set up. Also, that the holidays can bring up a lot of emotions related to family for a lot of individuals. Some people are just trying to get through these weeks.

Instead, I try to focus on enjoying the moments with my family all together now since things can change in an instant. Each year I look back and realize how much is different from the year before. That brings me to the final tip.


Instead, I try to focus on enjoying the moments with my family all together now since things can change in an instant.

5. Keep the drama with your clothes not relationships.

As I’ve stated before, my social circle has become pretty small over the years. The people I talk to most are my family and husband. The friends I do have are just as busy as I am. So, their friendship expectations are realistic. This keeps the holidays mostly drama free (sometimes I bring my own drama though, let’s be honest here).

Luckily, I don’t have people around me bringing negative energy or nonsense-based holiday expectations. If you do, I say set your priorities on how and with who you spend your time with. Set your limits on what topics are off limits (getting married, having kids, and what do with either of those situations if you are married or a parent). I think of it this way, if someone really wanted to give me advice, they wouldn’t wait until once a year to do so.


Ok, tell me, what’s your plan to stay stress free this holiday season?

… Because getting dressed (and living life) should feel good!


I partnered up with Dress Barn and these were gifted.

Rather listen to this post instead of reading it? Check out Episode 12 “5 Tips To Avoid Stress This Holiday Season” of the Don’t Mix In  podcast. Join me as I dive into the topics on this post. Don’t Mix In can be found on Apple Podcasts and pretty much anywhere you find your podcasts! If you are into what you hear, be sure to subscribe and leave me a review.


  1. Very elegant. The red shirt and black dress with while along the colar and arms looks very elegant

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